Blackmagic URSA

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Blackmagic URSA
MakerBlackmagic Design
TypeDigital movie camera
Lens mount
Image sensor typeCMOS
Recording medium
ShutterGlobal shutter
AV Port(s)
Data Port(s)
Dimensions8.8 in × 12.6 in × 6 in (22 cm × 32 cm × 15 cm)
Weight16.32 lb (7.40 kg)
Made inAustralia
ReleasedAugust 4, 2014; 4 years ago (2014-08-04)

The Blackmagic URSA is a digital movie camera developed and manufactured by Blackmagic Design, released on August 8, 2014. It is the first camera to be user-upgradeable for additional equipment manufactured by Blackmagic and other third-party makers.


At the NAB Show in April 2014, Blackmagic Design announced the URSA digital movie camera, which was the first movie camera to be user-upgradeable for additional equipment, alongside the Studio Camera, the television-oriented version of the Cinema Camera.[3] In November, a firmware update maxed the frame rate to 80p and added a new 3:1 compression ratio for RAW files.[4]

In April 2015, the URSA Mini was announced and all URSA models and variants received another update that upgraded the maximum frame rate for the windowed 1080p resolution to 150 fps and added support for Apple ProRes 444 XQ and updated the models with a second-generation sensor.[5][6] A B4 lens mount was added to the Mini in September.[7] The 4.6K version of the Mini was then released in March 2016, controversially without global shutter.[8] In August, a public beta of the redesigned Camera Utility 4.0 for URSA Mini was released.[9]


Specifications and hardware[edit]

The camera can come in both 4K and 4.6K specifications, with max resolutions being 4608 x 2592 for the 4.6K spec and 4000 x 2160 for the 4K. All models and variants include DaVince Resolve. The camera comprises two displays; the main 10.1" flip-out TFT-LCD display that is controlled using physical buttons and a 5" LCD capacitive touchscreen that can show recording status and can be used to access features by another operator. The camera records lossless CinemaDNG RAW, RAW 3:1 and 4:1 and Apple ProRes.[10]

Model Formats FPS Max Resolution Max Write Speed for RAW @ 80FPS (Average)
EF RAW, ProRes 4444 and 422 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94, 60, 80, 90, 120, 240 4000 x 2160 8MB/Frame (640MB/s - 1m 40s on 64GB / 3m 20s on 128GB)
Broadcast ProRes 4444 and 422 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94, 60 3840 x 2160 6MB/Frame (360MB/s - 2m 58s on 64GB / 5m 54s on 128GB)
HDMI RAW, ProRes 4444 and 422 N/A


The URSA uses Camera Utility, the proprietary software developed by Blackmagic also in use for the Cinema Cameras. The software allows the user to add metadata about a single file, including - but not limited to: shot, take and scene numbers, as well as filenames. However, the system must be updated through a computer using USB instead of other technologies like firmware over the air.

Models and variants[edit]

The URSA is available in four different models: EF, PL, HDMI and Broadcast. The EF and PL mounts are interchangeable and can work with any compatible lenses. However, the HDMI model doesn't have a lens system at all and a separate camera must be connected to the camera via HDMI to record. It has a threaded camera mount to mount a camera onto the URSA.[11] The Broadcast model uses an optimized sensor for broadcasting in Ultra HD, as well as a specialized B4 lens mount and a neutral-density filter wheel on the body.[12]

URSA Mini[edit]

The Blackmagic URSA Mini is a variant of the URSA camera. The 4.6k variant was released on March 17, 2016.[8] It has a smaller form factor and loses some functionality and features over the URSA, losing the secondary 5" touchscreen, global shutter on the 4.6k variant and other features. However, it does ship in 4K and 4.6K specifications, and ships in EF and PL mounts.

URSA Mini Pro[edit]

The Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro, the most recent variant of the URSA camera, was released on March 2, 2017.[13] Compared to the URSA Mini, it adds an internal neutral density wheel, shoulder-accessible controls, and a secondary 4" touchscreen, and ships only in a 4.6K specification. Its most unique feature is a user-interchangeable lens mount. The camera ships with an EF mount, and at release time, PL and B4 mount modules were available for purchase.

URSA Broadcast[edit]

The Blackmagic URSA Broadcast, the most recent variant of the URSA camera, was released on February 1, 2018.[14] While not an URSA "Mini", the Broadcast uses the same platform as the URSA Mini Pro. The camera features a 4K sensor, 2/3" style B4 lens mount, traditional external controls (like on the Mini Pro), built in optical ND filters, and dual CFast and dual SD card recorders. While the Broadcast ships with a B4 sensor, the camera is compatible with EF, PL and F mounts, sold separately by Blackmagic.



The Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder is a viewfinder made by Blackmagic Design. It comprises a 1080p OLED screen and can be focused and adjusted to both the left and right eye and only turns on by a proximity sensor dubbed the "Eye-sensor". The diopter is also user-adjustable.[15] It screws onto the top of the URSA and URSA Mini or onto any mount compatible and connects via BNC-SDI connection and XLR, making it compatible with cameras that have these ports.[16]

Studio Viewfinder[edit]

The Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder[17] is a viewfinder display made by Blackmagic that is exclusively for the URSA Mini. It comprises a 7" 1080p LCD screen, a menu button and three function buttons that can display various exposure, focus and framing guides and four knobs that bring up the menu and control the brightness, contrast and peaking sensitivity. It mounts on top of the Mini camera and is adjustable, has a removable sun hood and metal handles on the side.[18]


  1. ^ Marine, Joe (8 August 2014). "First Blackmagic URSA 4K Cameras Are Out in the Wild". No Film School. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  2. ^ "Blackmagic Design URSA 4.6K Digital Cinema". B&H Photo Video. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  3. ^ Frazer, Bryant (9 April 2014). "Blackmagic Announces New 4K Ursa, Studio Cameras". Studio Daily. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  4. ^ Frazer, Bryant (21 November 2014). "Blackmagic Upgrades Ursa to Shoot 4K at 80p". StudioDaily. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  5. ^ Pascal, Lulian (10 April 2015). "Blackmagic Design Outs Camera Firmware Update Utility 2.3". Softpedia. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  6. ^ Stark, Clinton (13 April 2015). "Blackmagic $teals NAB with URSA Mini cinema camera". Stark Insider. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  7. ^ "Blackmagic impresses with B4 mount for URSA Mini". Digital Middle East Production. 21 September 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  8. ^ a b Stark, Clinton (17 March 2016). "Blackmagic cuts key feature, finally ships URSA Mini 4.6K cinema camera — on day of RED". Stark Insider. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  9. ^ Chung, Dan (16 August 2016). "Blackmagic Design release public beta of URSA Mini version 4.0 firmware". Newsshooter. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  10. ^ "Blackmagic Design: URSA Tech Specs". Blackmagic Design. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  11. ^ Khan, Maaz (7 April 2014). "Blackmagic Announces the URSA: A Digital Film Camera Starting at $6K". DIY Photography. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  12. ^ "Blackmagic URSA Broadcast - Cameras - Acquisition". Extended View Services. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  13. ^ "Blackmagic Design Announces New URSA Mini Pro 4.6K Camera" (Press release). Blackmagic Design. 2 March 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  14. ^ Design, Blackmagic. "Blackmagic Design Introduces URSA Broadcast". Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  15. ^ "Blackmagic Design URSA Viewfinder CINEURSANEVFP". B&H Photo Video. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
  16. ^ Fok, Tim (28 April 2016). "Tilta Rehouse The Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder". Cinema5D. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  17. ^ D. McAdams, Deborah (19 April 2016). "NAB 2016: BlackMagic Rolls Out 4K Duplicator". TV Technology. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  18. ^ "Blackmagic Design URSA Studio Viewfinder CINEURSANSVF". B&H Photo Video. Retrieved 1 December 2016.